•  18
    Efficient Cause as Paradigm? From Suárez to Clauberg
    Journal of Modern Philosophy. forthcoming.
    This paper critiques a narrative concerning causality in later scholasticism, due to, among others, Des Chene (1996), Carraud (2002), Schmaltz (2008), Schmid (2010), and Pasnau (2011). On this account, internal developments in the scholastic tradition, culminating in Suárez, lead to the efficient cause being regarded as the paradigmatic kind of cause, anticipating a view explicitly held by the Cartesians. Focusing on Suárez and his scholastic reception, I defend the following claims: a) Suárez’…Read more
  •  85
    This article studies the academic context in which Cartesianism was absorbed in Germany in the mid-seventeenth century. It focuses on the role of Johann Clauberg (1622-1665), first rector of the new University of Duisburg, in adjusting scholastic tradition to accommodate Descartes’ philosophy, thereby making the latter suitable for teaching in universities. It highlights contextual motivations behind Clauberg’s synthesis of Cartesianism with the existing framework such as a pedagogical interest …Read more
  •  75
    Substance, Causation, and the Mind-Body Problem in Johann Clauberg
    Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy. forthcoming.
    This paper argues against traditional interpretations of Clauberg as an occasionalist, as well as more recent ones that attribute to him an interactionist theory of the mind-body relation. It examines his treatment of the mind-body problem in the context of his general theories of substance and cause. It argues that, whereas Clauberg embraces Descartes’s substance dualism, he retains a broadly scholastic theory of causation as involving the action of powers grounded in essences. On his account, …Read more
  •  17
    Law and structure in Dilthey’s philosophy of history
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (4): 633-651. 2021.
    This paper interprets Dilthey’s treatment of history and historical science through his engagement with Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy. It focuses on Dilthey’s account of the possibility of objectivity in the Geisteswissenschaften. It finds in Dilthey a view of history as a law-governed, dynamical structure expressing the totality of human life, cast in a reworked Hegelian notion of objective spirit. The aim of historical thought is to understand the unity of this structure to the greatest …Read more
  •  3
    Volume 28, Issue 4, July 2020, Page 853-855.
  •  69
    Interpreting Dilthey, edited by Eric S. Nelson (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (1): 1-2. 2020.
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  •  174
    This paper argues for an interpretation of Leibniz’s claim that physics requires both mechanical and teleological principles as a view regarding the interpretation of physical theories. Granting that Leibniz’s fundamental ontology remains non-physical, or mentalistic, it argues that teleological principles nevertheless ground a realist commitment about mechanical descriptions of phenomena. The empirical results of the new sciences, according to Leibniz, have genuine truth conditions: there is a …Read more
  •  26
    Wolff’s Science of Teleology and Kant’s Critique
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6. 2019.
    This essay examines Wolff’s science of teleology, which has historically been dismissed as a crude physico-theology resting on a simple confusion between uses and purposes. Focusing especially on his two German volumes (German Teleology, 1723, and German Physiology, 1725), I argue that, first, Wolff never intended teleology to be a self-standing theology; and second, that teleology, as a part of physics, is primarily an applied or practical discipline. In its theological function, teleology pres…Read more
  •  271
    Kant’s Antinomy of Teleology: In Defense of a Traditional Interpretation
    In Violetta Waibel & Margit Ruffing (eds.), Proceedings of the 12th Kant Congress, De Gruyter. pp. 1641-1648. 2018.
    Kant’s Antinomy of Teleological Judgment is unique in offering two pairs of oppositions, one of regulative maxims, and the other of constitutive principles. Here I defend a traditional interpretation of the antinomy— as proposed, for example, by Stadler (1874), Adickes (1925), and Cassirer (1921)—that the antinomy consists in an opposition between constitutive principles, and is resolved by pointing out their legitimate status as merely regulative maxims. I argue against recent interpretations—f…Read more
  •  151
    Hume's (Berkeleyan) Language of Representation
    Hume Studies 41 (2): 171-200. 2015.
    Although Hume appeals to the representational features of perceptions in many arguments in the Treatise, his theory of representation has traditionally been regarded as a weak link in his epistemology. In particular, it has proven difficult to reconcile Hume's use of representation as causal derivation and resemblance (the Copy Principle) with his use of representation in the context of impressions and abstract ideas. This paper offers a unified interpretation of representation in Hume that draw…Read more
  •  48
    Dilthey on the unity of science
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (4): 635-656. 2016.
    ABSTRACTThis paper elaborates a conception of the unity of science that emerges in the context of Dilthey’s well-known treatment of the distinction between the Naturwissenschaften and the Geisteswissenschaften. Dilthey’s account of the epistemological foundations of the Geisteswissenschaften presupposes, this paper argues, their continuity with the natural sciences. The unity of the two domains has both a psychological and a biological basis. Whereas the psychological functions at work in scient…Read more